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Sep 30, 2014

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup


Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup makes for a hearty and filling meal full of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Gluten-Free and Vegan too.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 3 cups cubes pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 20 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For garnish:
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • handful cilantro, diced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook until aromatic.
  2. Add pumpkin and spices and cook for a couple minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring a boil and cook for 5 minutes before adding the remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add beans and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Served garnished with cilantro, avocado and lime juice.

Sep 26, 2014

Pumpkin Protein Bars

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup egg whites or 2 large eggs (use egg replacer for vegan version)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup protein powder, vanilla (add extra 2-3 tbsp maple syrup if using unflavored)*
  • 1 + 1/2 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten free oats for GF version)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. 
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Add oats and walnuts, stir well. Pour mixture in prepared baking dish, level with spatula and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife into 8 or 10 bars***. Serve warm or cold. 
Bars made with eggs will come out more moist and rich, but for a leaner version use egg whites - they still are super moist. **Substitute protein powder with almond or any nut flour. ***For smaller portions cut into 10 bars.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sep 22, 2014

Free Supplement and Drug Interaction Consultations for Naturopathic Medicine Week!

Are you combining drugs with supplements and herbs?  Have you wondered if what you are taking in combination is safe? This can be very complicated for the average consumer to figure out. On Wednesday October 8th, the Riverwalk Natural Health is offering free consultations to go over all medications, supplements and herbs that you are on to let you know if what you’re taking is safe. Fifteen minute consultations will be free all day from 9am to 6pm at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy in Edwards, right across the street from Starbucks. 

When: October 8th 9 am - 6 pm
Where: Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy
Who: Dr. Deborah Wiancek

Please RSVP to the Riverwalk Natural Clinic at 970-926-7606

Sep 15, 2014

Cold & Flu Clinic

Dr. Wiancek prescribes antiviral and anti-bacterial herbs to boost the immune system and prevent cold.                                                                           Schedule an appointment today! 970-926-7606 
Feel a cold coming on? 




30 minute sessions.  Walk-ins Welcome!

Sep 12, 2014

Questions to Ask Manufacturers before purchasing any herbs.

1. Do you buy your herbal raw materials directly from the 
grower or from an intermediary supplier? 

2. Do you grow any of your own botanicals?

3. How do you validate herbal raw material genus and 

4. Are your herbal ingredients organic? Are they 
ecologically wild harvested?

5. What solvents do you use to extract your herbs?

6. Are you Prop 65 compliant?

7. Can you provide test results for your products showing 
results of heavy metal tests, testing for pesticides and 
other contaminants?

8. How do you validate potency? Can you provide results 
of potency testing?

All Botanicals are Not Created Equal

5 Pillars of Quality Botanicals – varies by manufacturer:

 – Design: Evidence-based formulation & appropriate 
dosage form

– Authenticity: Ingredient identity is always verified 
using validated methods

– Potency: Ingredient & finished product potency is 
verified using validated methods 

– Purity: Proven freedom from biological & chemical 

– Validation: Evidence of safety and efficacy for intended use

If a particular herbal product does not work for your health conditions it may be that it was not a quality product.  Our products at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic are chosen by the above 5 pillars.  

Sep 8, 2014

Buyer Beware

People take herbals and dietary supplements to stay healthy; it doesn’t always work.

Nearly half of all adult Americans take herbal and dietary supplements, presumably in order to get or stay healthy, but new research finds many of them may be doing themselves more harm than good.

Liver injury caused by herbals and dietary supplements increased from 7% to 20% in a U.S. study group over a ten-year period, according to a study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Despite popular belief, bodybuilders and endurance athletes aren't the most affected. Liver injury caused by non-bodybuilding supplements occurs more often in middle-aged women and more frequently results in death or the need for transplantation than liver injury from bodybuilding supplements or conventional medications."While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government regulations require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals" said the study's lead author, Dr. Victor Navarro of Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.

Medical evidence shows that supplements are used more often by women, non-Hispanic whites, those over 40 years of age and those with more advanced education. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III indicate that multivitamins, minerals, calcium and fish oils are the most commonly used supplements.

The study examines hepatotoxicity due to supplements compared to medications, enrolling 839 patients with liver injury between 2004 and 2013. Liver injury cases included 45 caused by bodybuilding supplements, 85 attributed to non-bodybuilding supplements, and 709 due to medications.The research team determined that among cases enrolled, liver injuries from herbal and dietary supplements rose to 20% during the study period. While bodybuilding supplements caused prolonged jaundice (median 91 days) in young men, no fatalities or liver transplantations occurred.

Death or liver transplantation occurred more frequently among cases of injury from non-bodybuilding supplements, 13%, than from conventional medications, 3%. Liver injury from non-bodybuilding supplements was more common in middle aged women.Navarro and the other authors of the study said the public needs to be aware of the potential dangers of using dietary supplements and advise that supplement producers, government agencies, healthcare providers and consumers work together to improve safety

Diseases Doctors Often Get Wrong (Part 3.)

For many migraine sufferers, nothing could be more obvious than the severe headaches, which are usually characterized by intense throbbing or pulsing and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. But some people may get migraines without even knowing it, says Fleming.
"Sometimes migraine symptoms can be very severe, where the patient can even develop paralysis, and other times they can be very subtle," he says. "Patients might feel dizzy or lightheaded or feel a vague discomfort in their heads, and oftentimes they'll get treated with medication that might not be appropriate for a true migraine."  A neurologist should be able to rule out other possibilities, and make the proper diagnosis.

Cluster headaches
Another headache disorder that's often misunderstood, cluster headaches are extremely painful but also very rare -- affecting less than 1 million Americans. Cluster headaches tend to occur close together, often on the same day, and last 30 minutes to three hours, on average. Scientists aren't sure why, but cluster headaches tend to occur when seasons change. Because of this, they can sometimes be misdiagnosed as allergy-related sinus headaches.

Hypothyroidism (also known as underactive thyroid) is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of the hormones that help regulate weight, energy, and mood. In the early stages, thyroid problem symptoms are subtle and can include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, muscle aches, and impaired memory.

"It can mimic depression, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions," says Shapiro.
And because hypothyroidism is most common in people (especially women) over 60, it's easy to attribute its symptoms to simply getting older and more out of shape.

Type 2 diabetes can't stay hidden forever; if left untreated, it can cause life-threatening damage to the body's major organs. Before signs of diabetes develop, says Fleming, adults can have diabetes for years without knowing it.
"There are a lot of people out there with elevated blood sugar levels who aren't getting to the doctor regularly, so they aren't getting checked for it," he says. "They won't realize it until it gets severe enough that they start developing side effects, like problems with their vision or numbness in their feet or hands."
To avoid these problems, watch for earlier symptoms like increased thirst or hunger, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, and fatigue.

Inflammatory bowel disease
There are primarily two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Both cause inflammation of the digestive tract, as well as pain, diarrhea, and possibly even malnutrition. Because there's no one test for IBD, however, it is diagnosed primarily by excluding everything else.

"If a patient comes in with severe abdominal pain, we might first think it's their gallbladder," says Shapiro. "If he comes in with loose stools, we might think it's an infection. So we go through a litany of tests -- imaging, blood tests, assessments -- and sometimes we finally come down to the fact that we've ruled out every other possibility, so this is what we're going to treat you for and we'll see if it works."

Sep 5, 2014

Diseases Doctors Often Get Wrong (Part 2.)

The following conditions are notoriously Difficult to Identify.

Lyme disease
You probably know to look out for tick bites and the telltale bullseye rash that can form around them if a person is infected with Lyme disease. But not everyone develops this rash -- and Lyme disease's other symptoms (like fatigue, headaches, joint pain, and flu-like symptoms) can easily be confused for other conditions, says Shapiro.
A blood test can check for Lyme disease antibodies in the blood, but those usually don't show up until a few weeks after infection and the test is notoriously unreliable. It's important to remove the tick immediately and see a doctor right away. Quickly removing a tick can possibly prevent the transfer of dangerous bacteria, and antibiotics for Lyme disease are most effective when given immediately.

The most distinctive sign of lupus -- another chronic inflammatory disease -- is a butterfly-shaped rash across a patient's cheeks, but that's not present in all cases. Lupus can affect the joints, kidneys, brain, skin, and lungs, and can also mimic many different issues.

There is no one way to diagnose lupus, but blood and urine tests, along with a complete physical exam, are usually involved. Treatment also depends on a patient's individual signs and symptoms, and medications and dosages may need to be adjusted as the disease flares and subsides.

Polycystic ovary syndrome
Irregular periods, unexplained weight gain, and difficulty getting pregnant can all be symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age. Many women with this condition also have enlarged ovaries with numerous small cysts, but not everyone with PCOS has these enlarged ovaries, and not everyone with enlarged ovaries has PCOS.
To be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must also be experiencing infrequent or prolonged periods or have elevated levels of male hormones, called androgens, in her blood. Androgen excess may cause abnormal hair growth on the face and body, but women of certain ethnic backgrounds (like Northern European and Asian) may not show physical signs.

You might think that an inflamed or burst appendix should be easy to identify, and often, it is: typical appendicitis symptoms include nausea, pain and tenderness around the belly button, and possibly a low-grade fever. But not always.

Some people have an appendix that points backward instead of forward in the body, so the symptoms present in a different location," says Dr. Eugene Shapiro, deputy director of the Investigative Medicine Program at Yale University."And sometimes people do have pain, but then the appendix ruptures and the pain is relieved so they think they're fine."

Many perfectly healthy women deal with menstrual pain and discomfort, so it's not surprising that endometriosis is often misdiagnosed. However, women with endometriosis (in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus) often report pelvic pain, cramping, and heavy bleeding that's far worse than usual, and that gets worse over time. A pelvic exam can sometimes detect endometrial tissue or cysts that have been caused by it. In other cases, an ultrasound or laparoscopy is required for a definite diagnosis.

In this case, he says, intestinal fluids can seep into the abdominal cavity and cause a potentially life-threatening infection -- but it can take days or even weeks before these symptoms appear.

Sep 3, 2014

Diseases Doctors Often Get Wrong (Part 1.)

The following conditions are notoriously Difficult to Identify.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Some conditions are difficult to diagnose because there is no real test to prove their existence; rather, they require a “diagnosis of elimination,” as doctors’ rule out all other possibilities.  IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation.  According to diagnostic criteria, a patient should have symptoms for at least six months before being seen for a formal evaluation.  Discomfort should be present at least three days a month in the last three months before being diagnosed with IBS.

Celiac Disease
Celiac disease -- an immune reaction to gluten that triggers inflammation in the small intestine -- takes the average patient six to 10 years to be properly diagnosed. Celiac sufferers would, in theory, have digestive problems when eating gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, and rye, but in fact, only about half of people diagnosed with the disease have experienced diarrhea and weight loss.
Celiac disease can also cause itchy skin, headaches, joint pain, and acid reflux or heartburn, and it's all too easy to blame these symptoms on other things. A blood test can diagnose celiac disease no matter what symptoms are present, and an endoscopy can determine any damage that's been done to the small intestine.

Fibromyalgia, which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, involves "medically unexplained symptoms" -- a term doctors use to describe persistent complaints that don't appear to have an obvious physical cause. When doctors can't find a root cause for a patient's chronic pain and fatigue, they often settle on this diagnosis. This may involve seeing specialists and ruling out other diseases, some of which prove equally difficult to diagnose, says Dr. Eugene Shapiro, deputy director of the Investigative Medicine Program at Yale University.

"There are studies that show that people with certain symptoms who show up at a rheumatologist will be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but if the same patients show up at a gastroenterologist they'll be diagnosed as having irritable bowel syndrome."

Multiple Sclerosis
Another autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs when the immune system attacks the body's own nerve cells and disrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Some of the first symptoms of MS are often numbness, weakness, or tingling in one or more limbs, but that's not always the case.

Multiple sclerosis can be episodic; the disease tends to wax and wane.  Depending on the number and location of lesions in the brain, he adds, signs and symptoms may be more or less severe in different people. Once a doctor does suspect MS, however, a spinal tap or MRI can help confirm the diagnosis.

For the Love of Coffee

Natural health practitioner Shelly Zagor says she can gladly give up sugar, wheat, or meat, but NOT her coffee. If you are one of those people for whom the pleasures of the morning ritual and accompanying caffeine jolt are critically necessary in your life, consider the other effects taking place with your first sip of joe. Coffee contains hundreds of active compounds and substances, which can positively and/or negatively affect your system.

Some of the major antioxidant phytochemicals found in coffee are the following:
Chlorogenic acid: a compound specifically shown to inhibit glucose in the liver. It is thought to reduce the risk of glycemic disorders, like diabetes.
Quinic acid: contributing to acid taste. It is used in making Tamiflu, a popular treatment for influenza.
Cafestol: a compound extracted from the beans oil during brewing and thought to have anti-carcinogenic effects.
N-methylpyridinium: created by roasting, it is believed to enhance the potency of the other antioxidants in coffee.

A 2012 Danish study published in ScienceNordic Journal suggests coffee can be beneficial in reducing the risk of several illnesses including bile tract and liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. A Finnish study found a significantly decreased risk for depression in older women who drank coffee. More research is needed to determine which indicators are the most at work, since it is difficult to isolate each component. Most of the data studied used an old-fashioned filtered brew. The studies make a point that the highest benefits are achieved by drinking 3-4 cups a day.

The type of coffee you drink, method of preparation (standard coffeemaker, French press, Chemex brewer, single-cup cone brewing, espresso etc), how grown and roasting time can all affect the efficacy of what’s in your coffee cup. Instant coffee is thought to have a lower antioxidant value than brewed.  Another factor is cup size. In Europe and even in Asia, a cup of coffee is small, barely one ounce of esspresso, and because of the way it is processed is low in caffeine. An American cup of coffee at Starbucks is 12 oz and the largest cup contains 20 oz!

Naturopathic doctor Peter Bongiorno, ND, LAc, of InnerSource Health in New York City and Long Island, N.Y., refers to coffee as “the most popular drug.” He stresses the importance of understanding the benefits and detriments to your health, and recommends the following if you drink coffee (which he does):

Drink a glass of water before to balance the diuretic or dehydrating effect. To pump up your hydration add 2 teaspoons of chia seeds to 8 ounces of water, let it steep, shake, then drink.
Don’t drink coffee everyday. Are you addicted? Make sure coffee doesn’t start to ‘run’ you. Take a day or two off every week.
Don’t substitute coffee for sleep. If you are sleep deprived and are drinking continuously to get through your day, your body’s adrenal system will rapidly become depleted and you can suffer symptoms of “burn out.”
Be aware that males and females exhibit different reactions. Studies show caffeinated coffee enters men’s systems faster than women, and men feel the effect of caffeine more. And a 2003 study from the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse suggests that young women (ages 8-22) who drink coffee are at higher risk for smoking and alcohol addiction than males that age.
Think about what is balancing for your system, and what stimulates or calms you. How do you feel after drinking a cup of coffee, both immediately and an hour after?
If you are going to drink coffee, make sure it is organic.Coffee plants are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, coated with chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Most decaffeinated coffees are also chemically treated to reduce the caffeine; water washed decaf is the safest.

Gwen Korovin, M.D., an otolaryngologist in New York City, says although studies show drinking coffee reduces the risk of dying from oral/pharyngeal cancers, many of her patients who drink substantial amounts of coffee complain of acid reflux. “What may be beneficial to the upper part of the throat may not be so in the lower tract,” she says. When they cut down on their consumption, the symptoms dissipate.